What are you trying to achieve ?
Do you want to bi-amp your speakers (i.e. use one integrated to drive the tweeters and the other to drive woofers ?)
Or do you have some other goal ?
With a bit more info I might be able to offer some help.
The 8000A has pre out and power in jacks and can be used as a pre or a power amp. To be used as a preamp, simply connect to a power amp. The pre and power sections are connected internally. To be used as a power amp, this connection needs to be removed. With this done, the pre and power sections can operate independantly.
I was not planning to bi-amp the speakers, but just to use the preamp as the source control and the power amp to drive the speakers .Do you recommend bi-amping ?
Nutella - How complicated a mod is removing the pre and power connection?
The 8000S also has pre out and power in jacks. A switch on the front panel allows it to be put into integrated , pre or 'pre-power AV' modes.The pre mode inactivates the internal link, the speakers and the power amp input.
The pre-power AV mode inactivates the internal pre/power link , but leaves the power in, preamp out and speakers active. To use as a power amp , does it matter whether the pre-amp outputs are still operational or not? If not , merely turning the switch would allow the 8000S to function as the power amp . Can the 8000A then be used as a preamp without removing any connectors?
Thank you for your responses.
I was paraphrasing the audiolab owner's manual. I have not performed the mod on my old unit. The manual does use the words "simple modification". If you feel confident in looking inside, you may be able to see for yourself if you can do it yourself. Otherwies, take it to an electronics repair shop and tell them what you need done. It should only cost their minimum charge. If you do choose to look inside yourself, remember that even if the unit is unplugged, there may still be enough voltage in the circuits to cause injury. Leave it unplugged for a while before you do anything.
From looking at my 8000A manual, I read it that you are going to have to do the internal modification whether you are going to use it as a preamp or power amp. You cannot simply hook up the A and use it as a preamp (if I am interpreting the manual correctly).
That being said, if your speakers have dual binding posts, I would strongly recommend a biamp configuration as I think you would derive the most benefit and best sound quality that way. I would definitely go for it, probably using the 8000S as the preamp unless you have an analogue source and want to use the MC/MM in the 8000A.
I thought you'd biamp since I couldn't figure out what you would gain from using the preamp of one to drive the poweramp of the other. From what I remember the 8000S is a more capable amp than the 8000A, but the 8000A has tone controls and a phono preamp, which are both not present on the 8000S. Apart from the phono preamp I would think that both the pre and power stages of the 8000S are superior to the 8000A.
Unless you need the phono preamp (and I'm guessing you don't, since you don't have one on the 8000S) then I'd use the 8000S as an integrated, driving the high frequencies, and the 8000A as a power amp, driving the low frequencies. I don't know whether the power amp section of each amp has the same gain, but I think it is quite likely they do. You should get a noticeable improvement if you bi-amp this way, as you've almost doubled your power, and your current driving capability.
Please let us know how you get on ... it's an interesting experiment.
I appreciate the advice and think it makes good sense . I have decided to set it up as suggested - bi-amping with the 8000S as an integrated , and the 8000A as the power amp . If anyone knows the specifics of seperating the pre and power stages please let me know.
I will keep you posted on my progress.
I contacted Tag McLaren who were very helpful and provided instructions for modifying the 8000A. This involved moving some links on the circuit board,simple enough really. I set up the amps as advised by Seandtaylor99 and the results have been truly excellent . The bass is far meatier and the overall sound is just so much fuller and punchier. Thanks to all who replied.
Glad it worked out ... thanks for letting us know.
I just bought a pre-owned 8000P to power my 8000A. The connection is very simple, connect the pre-amp out of the 8000A and input of the 8000P and the whole system works fine. I suppose that only using 8000A as the power amp will need internal modifications.
I have an 8000A which expired long ago. I took it to a repair shop but they (eventually) said McLaren would not supply any spares for that model. So it's sat in my loft for 10ish years. I was just about to take it to the tip when I decided on one last Google search and came across this site. It seems spares are available, so can anyone help me by providing the name of a decent repair shop in the SE of England? many thanks in advance.
Audiolab are back in business
I think they are under Chinese ownership, but have a presence in the UK. Try contacting them directly.
as an experiment I would suggest using the 8000A as a pre and the S to drive the speakers and see if there is an improvement over your current configuration.
Thanks for the info that Audiolab have been taken over. I rang my local Audiolab stockist and they said that spares are available and they are able to repair the amp! So in 3 weeks I should have a working Audiolab:)